AirAsia Philippines strengthens chartered repatriation flights

AirAsia Philippines has strengthened its chartered repatriation flights to service more Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are stranded abroad and are eager to be reunited with their families. 

The timely shift to expand chartered operations comes as restrictions on commercial flights are observed for the duration of the stricter quarantine measures in NCR Plus and other leisure destinations.

For the first time, AirAsia flew to the Indonesian province of Riau to ferry 39 seafarers from Hang Nadim Airport, Batam, Indonesia on Tuesday, 10 August 2021 who safely returned to Manila at around 10:00pm via the return flight Z2 8283. 

Batam-Manila repatriation flights will be mounted on a per request basis from partner manning agencies.

Meanwhile, around 100 Filipino seafarers from Matalla, Sri Lanka arrived via Z2 8160 last week, on 5 August 2021.

While commercial flights are limited due to international border restrictions, AirAsia will continue to fly from  Sri Lanka to Manila every Thursday, as chartered operations.

AirAsia in partnership with shipping and manning agencies have also recently mounted chartered flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia every Saturday to service our OFWs, who are also mostly seafarers.

Aside from flying home our modern day heroes, AirAsia is also assisting other nationals through weekly flights to Canton (Guangzhou), China for Chinese residents.

AirAsia Philippines Spokesperson Steve Dailisan said, “AirAsia Philippines has always been a staunch partner of the government and the private sector in ensuring the safe return of our OFWs. We are happy to be there for our seafarers who need to change ships and schedules and be home with their families in these very challenging times.

“These chartered repatriation flights go both ways, allowing us to realize other revenue streams such as cargo, while being of service to our Kababayans,” he added.

Veteran seafarers Joel Linobo Jr. and John Vincent Ignacio who were among the passengers of the Batam flight (Z2 8283) thanked AirAsia for the safe journey back home.  

Ignacio who lost his father due to COVID-19 last May was grateful that after two months of waiting, he will finally be reunited with his family again. Most of the seafarers who were supposed to go back to the Philippines earlier had a difficult time getting a confirmed schedule, as some of the ports they’ve been to, such as Pakistan were included in the Philippine government’s recent travel ban.

Since last year, AirAsia has mounted 600 chartered repatriation and sweeper flights from Palau, India, Indonesia and Myanmar, bringing home almost 50,000 OFWs. 

AirAsia is also providing special OWWA flights for OFWs who will be returning to their provinces after completion of their 14-day quarantine at a local health facility.

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